For my birthday, my daughter gave me some Crazy Love Notes – it is a colourful set of cards with Naïve Art drawings to support the messages. I was picking a card each day for fun. I liked all the messages and simple drawings, always giving me something to ponder on. Then one day I drew a card titled “Gossip Dims Your Glow.” The message on the back of the card reads:
Speaking poorly about others tarnishes your energy and your reputation. So avoid bonding over complaints and feeling superior. Instead, raise your vibration by engaging in positive communication. Celebrate what does work and who is awesome. The more you do this, the more radiant you will become.
I don’t normally speak poorly about others. So on the surface, it would appear that this message didn’t really apply to me. And yet, the next day I did not draw a new card, instead leaving the Gossip Dims Your Glow card in the upright holder. In the days following, I continued to leave it up – where I would see it when walking by the shelf.
The next weekend I attended a community day. During the day we had a wide variety of activities such as group exercises and stretches, a big communal dance which included the children, a shared lunch in which everyone brought a plate, some music from different members of the community and, in the afternoon, we were asked to partner up with someone for a little activity about being in True Community.
The activity was this. We were supposed to think of someone who we find annoying. We weren’t to identify them – just hold that person in our thoughts. It might be someone in our community or it could be a work colleague or a family member. We were then asked to speak for two minutes about the person who annoys us but we weren’t allowed to say anything about what annoys us! Instead we were to only speak about the magic that the person brings into the world. In other words, we were supposed to see through the surface irritation and recognise their positive qualities, their divine essence. We were to recognise the pearl within, you might say.
A few people came to mind! The person I chose is well liked by others but we just do not ‘get along’. It is easy enough not to say anything bad about them, but singing their praises was another matter. I was surprised to discover that I had so much difficulty seeing, acknowledging or saying anything good about this person. I had let my irritation become so big that I couldn’t see the pearl that they are in truth.
When the two minutes were up, my partner gave a sigh of relief saying, “Well, that was painful listening to you struggle through that.” I agreed!
Then an hour or so later, we were listening to a musical performance by some friends on stage. I looked down at my hands and discovered that the pearl had fallen out of the setting in my little gold ring. I had bought the ring in Broome, Western Australia in 2001 when I was on holiday. I’ve worn that ring most days since. I was disappointed to have lost the pearl, but not devastated. It was just a ring. I knew I could get a replacement pearl. But – then – disappointment started to set in because the pearl I lost was a keshi pearl – from Broome, a unique place in a unique country. Keshi pearls refer to those pearls formed when a bead nucleus is rejected, so the pearl grows even though it has been rejected by the culturing process.
When there was a break in the music, I turned to my friend sitting next to me (the one I had partnered with) and said, “Oh look, the pearl has fallen out of my ring.” She asked, ‘Do you want me to help you look for it?” I said no because I had no idea when it had fallen out and it was a small white pearl in a very large room. I had been there all day, it could be anywhere, even out in the carpark. She looked at me for a moment, and then turned her head and looked straight at the tiny little pearl which had rolled back under the chairs to the aisle behind us. She picked it up and handed it to me.
I immediately spotted this as one of those Magic of God Moments. I have had this ring for 19 years, wearing it almost daily. I recently wore it all around the world, climbing pyramids in Egypt, scaling ancient castle walls in the French Pyrenees, and hiking in the Scottish Highlands. Why did the pearl fall out today? The pearl could have fallen out at any moment in any impossible-to-find place. Why was it only one row back and why did my friend look straight at it? She hadn’t even gotten out of her chair.
To me it was obvious that God was speaking to me through symbolism. What did it mean to ‘lose the pearl’? I’m not sure if I got it (the message) in that very moment or if it was sometime later in the evening. It doesn’t matter because now I can clearly see the correlation between losing the pearl from my ring and losing the pearl of the essence of the person I considered irritating.
Fortunately, I have found the pearl – both, for my ring and in the person that I had previously considered annoying.
I can’t say this exercise completely resolved my irritation with this person but it most certainly did open my eyes to the problem being as much my attitude as it was any behaviour on the part of the other person.
It made me realise that not speaking poorly about another is not good enough. Refraining from speaking ill of another or gossiping does not make me a bearer of light and love.
Most of us, and I feel this applies to all generations, have been taught to give compliments very sparingly. Why is that so?
Over time, we learned that if we give compliments, it makes people like us. Many of us, eventually, began to give compliments in order to get something in return. It isn’t that much of a stretch to begin to give false compliments in order to get whatever we want.
We haven’t been taught how to confirm others. A confirmation is different to a compliment. A confirmation is something that is true and we are acknowledging it.
In the last couple of years, if I receive a confirmation from someone, I accept it graciously because I know it is true and that they are not attempting to flatter me. While I had worked out for myself the difference between a false compliment and a confirmation, I had not yet realised how stingy I was with giving others confirmation – until the activity of True Community.
Now, I can really feel the importance of confirming others. Life is difficult, for all of us. Read anybody’s autobiography, even the elite, the wealthy, the talented, the happy have all struggled to love themselves.
When we recognise the pearl in someone, we should tell them, we should tell others. We can spread the love by confirming that it exists in all of us, and being sincerely generous with that confirmation.
Gayle Cue loves writing about life, reflecting on every day miracles and pondering on the big picture.
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